Great Expectations Essay

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Imprisonment in Great Expectations
Prison is a very grim and doleful place for humans in which everyone might experience once in their life physically or mentally. The theme of imprisonment is demonstrated frequently in many works of literature, as many characters must struggle with the reality of their prison whether it is a physical or mental prison. In Charles Dickens’s bildungsroman novel, Great Expectations, the characters Miss Havisham, Estella, and Pip must struggle and endure physical and/or mental prisons.

Throughout this bildungsroman novel, Miss Havisham is seen in a mental and physical prison that makes her burdened and desolate. Miss Havisham at one time used to be a bliss and doting woman but when she was left at the altar by her fiancé on her wedding day, it tears Miss Havisham’s heart. This tragic event makes Miss Havisham seek revenge on all males and to this day she still has not forgotten what occurred that despondent night. In fact Miss Havisham stayed in the same room of the altar where “No glimpse of daylight was to be seen” (Dickens 55). Her bridal dress from years before “was faded and yellow….” (Dickens 56). Miss Havisham’s dolefulness and grief put her in a mental prison in which she loses touch of the outside world and is trapped in time and space. She also physically imprisons herself in one room of her house where nothing can make her forgive men as people. This makes Miss Havisham very bitter and also the prison in which she cannot let go of the past causes her great strife and pain for others, such as Pip and her adopted daughter Estella.

The character Estella is seen in more of a mental prison in which she cannot love and express her feelings to anyone. Miss Havisham has raided Estella not to love any man for her own revengeful reasons and so she cannot sympathize with Pip or any man that loves her. This makes Estella so miserable that she treats Miss Havisham coldly and with hate. This causes Miss Havisham to ask why she...
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